The Black Christ
By: Kelly Brown Douglas
“Initially, my theological journey was compelled by doubt about my love for Jesus and Jesus’ love for black children trapped in the vulgarities of inner-city life. . . . Twenty-five years later, my journey continues as I wonder what the blackness of Christ means to our children, whose lives are threatened because they are black.”
In The Black Christ, first published in 1994, Kelly Brown Douglas offers a compelling portrait of who Jesus is for the Black community. She identifies the Black Christ not strictly in terms of race or theological constructs. The “Blackness” of Christ has more to do with commitment to Black freedom than appearance.
Beginning with the early testimonies of the enslaved, through the writings and thought of religious and literary figures, voices from the Civil Rights and Black Power era, through the contemporary work of Black and Womanist theologians, Douglas presents a living tradition that speaks powerfully to the message of our day: Black Lives Matter. In a new introduction, she offers a moving account of the questions that motivated her work, and an overview of where those questions have since led her.
Kelly Brown Douglas is the Dean of Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary, and Canon Theologian of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, She is the author of numerous books, including Sexuality and the Black Church, What’s Faith Got to Do with It?: Black Bodies/Christian Souls, and Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God (all Orbis).